Q&A :: How do I get brides to hire me?

The Question:
Hi my name is Cheryl and I currently run a home based wedding floral business.
My question is, how do you get more brides to go with you instead of another big local florist around the area? How can I entice them more? I try to be as personable as I can with brides, but how do I get more consultations?

Cheryl in Ohio

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The Answers:

In regards to attracting and enticing more brides to your home location:
-Create an inspiring yet organized space in your home for consults
-Post your “Home Studio” pics on Facebook, Pinterest and website
-Speaking of websites… in a bride’s mind if you don’t have a website, you don’t exist
-Use your “Home Studio” to your advantage! Less overhead and more personal attention to their event!

Getting the brides to you:
–Bridal Shows…Use those lead lists! (1) Personal Phone Call / (2) Email Blast / (3) Direct Mail
–Visit all of your local Venues & bridal shops (which are usually the 1st locations a bride visits)
–Bring the Manager or main contact a little floral arrangement with your cards & marketing materials. Tuesdays are usually the best day to stop in casually.

Jennifer Mancuso, Michigan

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Fifteen years ago, it was word of mouth that got me to where I am today. Prom corsages have developed into wedding events and flowers for those families. The local Chamber of Commerce has been a effective way to advertise for a nominal fee. Being visible in the community is vital although as a studio designer it is difficult at times to be everywhere.
Kris of KRISanthemums, Oregon

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You really need to brand yourself. Set yourself apart from what everyone is doing. Really stand out, if your thing is rustic make sure your work is the BEST, if it’s modern really stand out. If your doing bridal shows make your booth is the “talk” of the show. Find your niche and make it happen. My brides come to me because they love my look.
Tracy of Park Place Design, Michigan

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I suggest calling around to photographers and doing some styled shoots. You will get some nice material to show your skills and then get those published, that gets your name out there. Also, advertising on local wedding blogs and/or one of the big online companies such as the knot or Wedding Wire. Then word of mouth will happen.
Buffy of Pink Posey Design, Colorado

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I think part of having a home based business is that you’re (typically) not as well known and will get fewer consults than a brick and mortar store. I don’t do any advertising. My Yelp reviews bring me most of my business, followed by recommendations from other vendors and past brides. That being said, I really focus on getting the jobs I do consults for. I go above and beyond for people that interview me. My goal is that they would leave our meeting better off than when they went in, regardless if they hire me. This means I “show my cards” a lot more than others. I do give away ideas, let them know what to expect, give sketches or photos with the estimate, etc. I try to genuinely serve them well, and in turn, they typically hire me. If I don’t get the job, they leave feeling served and don’t have a bad taste in their mouths. I have a booking rate of about 80%, so even though it takes more time up front, it ends up saves me time and money. Book the people you do interview and you don’t have to chase work! I wish there was a silver bullet that would work every time, but I find that as long as I’m listening to them and serve them well, I get a majority of jobs.
Chandin of Studio 3 Floral Design, Washington

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I, too, have a home-based wedding flower business. I have been in business for 3 years. Lately I have been getting a ton of positive feedback that a good number of brides have chosen me because of my prompt response to their emails. I started advertising with a popular and reputable vendor information site and as soon as I see an inquiry I get an email out to the bride as fast as I can, always within a few hours of me getting the email. I met with a bride the other day and she told me that of the 5 designers she contacted, I was the ONLY one that got right back to her and her fiance. She said the spoke volumes to her. That was 2 weeks ago. Apparently, she has still had no response from the other larger florists in town. I think personal, sincere and prompt responses and service are what the brides want. I also make sure that when I do have a consult that I take a tablet with me so that we can look at ideas together from my Pinterest Boards, Facebook business page and my website. Make sure you have all of those updated and have a lot of items for the bride to look at. Keep plugging away. Get better at your business and managing skills and it will come…
Lauren of Garden Gate Florals, Florida

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If you are like me, and usually meet at coffee shops or at the venue, bring a portfolio of your work in digital format, like an iPad or slide show on a laptop. Be sure to use only professional photos. I also have developed welcome letter that I send to my brides via email. I always make the appointment about theme not just solely focused on the flowers. We talk about her dreams and visions of her wedding day, and then dive into the flower part. Ask about her day, her dress, how she met her man, etc. Let her get excited and keep her excited through your appointment. I’m working on developing a catalogue of items I rent to take with me (containers, candle sets, table runners, etc) . Good luck! You can do this! And just be yourself!
Jessica of Blooms ‘n Blossoms, Kentucky

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It takes time! Just keep doing a good job. Ensure you have a good online presence and for the first few years maybe lower your prices a little not much, but as you are not retail you cannot charge full retail prices. This has been very successful for us. We are in our 10th year of business and as our customer base grew we increased our pricing. I treated that slight savings for the Brides as an advertising cost.
Jane of Budget Blooms, British Columbia

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Do you have a question you’d like to ask for a Q&A session? Email it to me at: info@flirtyfleurs.com

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Comments

  1. I would reach out to the other vendors in your area. Other vendors are always going to be your best resource. And then, word of mouth, ask your current brides to leave you reviews on places like Wedding Wire. And make sure your site is able to grab all those great tag words for florist in your area like ‘my town ohio wedding flowers’ and such. Finally, getting more consultations does not always lead to more events. Really focus on the opportunities you do have, put on your game face and mean it, show them how passionate you are and what you can provide over those big businesses. But, only promise what you know you can deliver and then exceed their expectations… they will tell their friends and your business will grow.

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